Breast Cancer?What is Breast Cancer?Read more...
Bone CancerWhat is Bone Cancer?Read more...
Bladder CancerWhat is Bladder Cancer?Read more...
Blood CancerWhat is Blood Cancer ?Read more...
Cervical CancerWhat is Cervical Cancer ?Read more...
Colon CancerWhat is Colon Cancer?Read more...
Esophageal CancerWhat is Esophageal Cancer?Read more...
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Gastric CancerWhat is Gastric Cancer?Read more...
Head and Neck CancersWhat are Head and Neck Cancers?Read more...
Hormone TherapyWhat is Hormone Therapy?Read more...
IMRTIntensity Modulated Radiation TherapyRead more...
Kidney CancerWhat is Kidney Cancer?Read more...
Lung CancerWhat is Lung Cancer?Read more...
Liver CancerWhat is Liver Cancer?Read more...
Lymphoma CancerWhat is Lymphoma Cancer?Read more...
Oral CancerWhat is Oral Cancer?Read more...
Ovarian Cancer What is Ovarian Cancer?Read more...
Pancreatic CancerWhat is Pancreatic Cancer?Read more...
Prostate CancerWhat is Prostate Cancer?Read more...
Skin CancerWhat is Skin Cancer?Read more...
Uterine CancerWhat is Uterine Cancer?Read more...
What is Colon Cancer?
The colon is an important part of the digestive system, and as such, it has a major role in helping the body absorb nutrients, minerals, and water. The colon also helps rid the body of waste in the form of stool. The colon makes up the majority of the large intestine, approximately six feet in length. The last six inches or so of the large intestine are the rectum and the anal canal.
Cancer is a class of diseases characterized by out-of-control cell growth, and colon cancer forms when this uncontrolled cell growth initiates with cells in the large intestine. Most colon cancers originate from small, noncancerous (benign) tumors called adenomatous polyps that form on the inner walls of the large intestine. Some of these polyps may grow into malignant colon cancers over time if they are not removed during colonoscopy. Colon cancer cells will invade and damage healthy tissue that is near the tumor causing many complications.
After malignant tumors form, the cancerous cells may travel through the blood and lymph systems, spreading to other parts of the body. These cancer cells can grow in several places, invading and destroying other healthy tissues throughout the body. This process itself is called metastasis, and the result is a more serious condition that is very difficult to treat.
Colon cancer is not necessarily the same as rectal cancer, but they often occur together in what is called colorectal cancer. Rectal cancer originates in the rectum, which is the last several inches of the large intestine, closest to the anus.
Types of Colon Cancer
Adenocarcinomas - adenocarcinomas are the most common type of colon cancer and originate in glands. Adenocarcinomas account for about 90-95 percent of all colorectal cancers and have two subtypes, mucinous and signet ring cell. The mucinous subtype comprises about 10-15 percent of adenocarcinomas while the signet ring cell subtype comprises less than 0.1 percent of adenocarcinomas.
Leiomyosarcomas - this type of colon cancer occurs in the smooth muscle of the colon. Leiomyosarcomas account for less than two percent of colorectal cancers and have a fairly high chance of metastasizing.
Lymphomas - colorectal lymphomas are rare and are more likely to start in the rectum than in the colon. However, lymphomas that start somewhere else in the body are more likely to spread to the colon than to the rectum. Non-Hodgkins lymphoma accounts for about 0.5 percent of all colorectal cancers and has many forms.
Melanomas - this type of colon cancer is rare. Usually, it results from a melanoma that started somewhere else and then spread to the colon or rectum. Melanomas account for less than two percent of colorectal cancers.
Neuroendocrine Tumors - neuroendocrine tumors are divided into two main categories: aggressive and indolent. Large cell and small cell neuroendocrine tumors are considered aggressive, while carcinoid tumors are considered indolent.
Causes of Colon Cancer
Cancer is ultimately the result of cells that uncontrollably grow and do not die. Normal cells in the body follow an orderly path of growth, division, and death. Programmed cell death is called apoptosis, and when this process breaks down, cancer results. Colon cancer cells do not experience programmatic death, but instead continue to grow and divide. Although scientists do not know exactly what causes these cells to behave this way, they have identified several potential risk factors.
You may not be able to control every situation and its outcome, but you can control your attitude and how you deal with it.
GOD didn’t add another day in your life because you needed it, he added it because someone out there needs you.
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
Dear GOD, if today I lose my hope please remind me that your plans are better than my Dream.....
Symptoms of Colon Cancer
Cancer symptoms are quite varied and depend on where the cancer is located, where it has spread, and how big the tumor is. It is common for people with colon cancer to experience no symptoms in the earliest stages of the disease. However, when the cancer grows, symptoms include -
If the cancer spreads, or metastasizes, additional symptoms can present themselves in the newly affected area. Symptoms of metastasis ultimately depend on the location to which the cancer has spread, and the liver is the most common place of metastasis.
Stages of Colon Cancer
Stage 0 Colon cancer - since these cancers have not grown beyond the inner lining of the colon, surgery to take out the cancer is all that is needed. This may be done in most cases by polypectomy (removing the polyp) or local excision through a colonoscope. Colon resection (colectomy) may occasionally be needed if a tumor is too big to be removed by local excision.
Stage 1 Colon cancer - these cancers have grown through several layers of the colon, but they have not spread outside the colon wall itself (or into the nearby lymph nodes). Partial colectomy - surgery to remove the section of colon that has cancer and nearby lymph nodes - is the standard treatment. You do not need any additional therapy.
Stage 2 Colon cancer - many of these cancers have grown through the wall of the colon and may extend into nearby tissue. They have not yet spread to the lymph nodes.
Stage 3 Colon cancer - in this stage, the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, but it has not yet spread to other parts of the body.
Stage 4 Colon cancer - the cancer has spread from the colon to distant organs and tissues. Colon cancer most often spreads to the liver, but it can also spread to other places such as the lungs, peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), or distant lymph nodes.
Diagnosis of Colon Cancer
A number of tests are performed for diagnosing colon cancer that include -
Treatment of Colon Cancer
Cancer treatment depends on the type of cancer, the stage of the cancer (how much it has spread), age, health status, and additional personal characteristics. There is no single treatment for cancer, but the most common options for colon cancer are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Treatments seek to remove the cancer and/or relieve painful symptoms that the cancer is causing.
Surgery - Stage 0 colon cancer may be treated by removing the cancer cells. This is done using colonoscopy. For stages I, II, and III cancer, more extensive surgery is needed to remove the part of the colon that is cancerous. This surgery is called colon resection.
Chemotherapy - chemotherapy utilizes chemicals that interfere with the cell division process - damaging proteins or DNA - so that cancer cells will commit suicide. These treatments target any rapidly dividing cells (not necessarily just cancer cells), but normal cells usually can recover from any chemical-induced damage while cancer cells cannot. Chemotherapy is generally used to treat cancer that has spread or metastasized because the medicines travel throughout the entire body. Treatment occurs in cycles so the body has time to heal between doses. However, there are still common side effects such as hair loss, nausea, fatigue, and vomiting. Combination therapies often include multiple types of chemotherapy or chemotherapy combined with other treatment options.
Radiation - Radiation therapy is sometimes used in patients with colon cancer. It is usually used in combination with chemotherapy for patients with stage III rectal cancer.
For patients with stage IV disease that has spread to the liver, treatments directed at the liver can be used. This may include -
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions".
"The purpose of our lives is to be happy" - Dalai Lama